• Published 21st May 2016
  • 4,069 Views, 184 Comments

This Changeling Life - Nasha Rei Kun



Self-decided victim of a fail-safe used to prevent the rampage of a dark power, Naruto thought life for him was over. He's proven wrong when he meets a white unicorn guard recruit, and then the wall-eyed love of his life. Naruto x Derpy. Anthro.

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The Stranded Changling, Fishcake

Author's Note:

And just like that, an idea is born!

So what's up everybody (or pony, choose your like)! Man it seems like things are going to get interesting for most of the Summer, hopefully, and I'm kind of excited.

In more recent news, I started writing this April 27th, but by the time it's done being written I'm almost sure it will be somewhere in late May. Give or take a couple of days.

Currently finishing up my fifth year in college and going onto my final one, in what is 2016-2017. I'm honestly not sure to think about it. Computer science Major, and I'm about to graduate. It's frightening. Trying to get an internship, and maybe learn something over the summer. I want to be a game designer, I've taken some class, but I don't think I took it serious enough.

I regret that, a lot.

I've got Unity though, so I can relearn at this point. Might make a VN one day, based on one of my stories. It'd be kinda sweet, if I can. Though I'd have to do all the art myself, but maybe getting back into drawing would be good for me.

All that said and done, I've got a job for the summer already, not worried about working, but I do want to hopefully get an internship somewhere down here in Houston (Texas). Also I turn 23 on the 20th of May, so this might come out that day.

*Shrug*

Disclaimer: I do not own MLP or Naruto. Keeping these short from now on, no point to harp on and on about what we all already know.

He idly wondered what he was to do with himself now.

The pebble skipped its way down the beaten path.

A fail-safe, his own loss of control, a repentant but determined father.

The small stone found itself captured by force again, as it skipped further down the long, vacant path.

His eyes trailed after the plain rock.

The sake of his whole village on the line, and he wondered sometimes if it was worth it. His eyes narrowed in on the stone.

A black appendage moved backward in preparation before sailing forward.

All the pain, blood, tears, and sweat. All gone in one fit of rage.

The limb was nearly upon the pebble.

Was. It. Worth. It?

The limb stopped, just short of accomplishing its goal. It set itself back on the floor.

His eyebrows relaxed into a softer stare. The leg rose slightly, before kicking out at the stone once more, the pebble skipping farther down the vacant earth.

A saved village, revived people, a changed heart.

His lips curved at the edges, as he looked down at the holes. The leg was riddled with a few near the end by the hoof. A curiosity.

He ventured once more after the stone.

There was a saying that he always heard, but could never truly understand. One said by a man that was as close to him as Iruka-sensei.

“Most heroes don’t get to stay around long enough to see themselves called one.”

Three years of training and that was one of the few things he hadn’t come to learn about in his time away from his home.

Or former home, in this case.

“Ero-sennin, I think I finally get it.” He let out a small chuckle, even as he raised his hole filled leg once more. The roughed up form of his orange and black clothes, they told a tale…but his new appearance?

That told of a sacrifice, depending on how well you knew him in person. Though he wondered if he was still considered a person by this point.

He kicked at the stone, watching as it sailed farther out, before bouncing its way into a puddle of water.

He couldn’t help but pout as the rock hid from his sight. The reflection of the water a few feet away, hiding its depths.

‘Aw.’

He sighed, as he walked over to the puddle. His gaze catching sight of a creature he’d very well bet no one in the Elemental Nations had probably ever seen before.

“…It’s clearer than in the kunai,” he muttered to himself, as he took in the reflection.

Sapphire blue, composite eyes stared back at him, not unlike those of a fly’s. A long snout(?), and strangely tattered ears were on display, along with the two small fangs at the sides of the protruding lip. At its head sat what looked like fins, of a golden yellow quality, that seemed to mimic a familiar patch of hair. Or maybe it was all one thing?

He wasn’t a bug specialist. He wasn’t Shino, though he wondered how the bug user would take to this gathering of characteristics.

To finish off the appearance summary, by looking at the small stubs of horns protruding from its forehead, parting the “hair” at their bases. Last, but not least, those horns were of a black coloration, that matched the rest of the outer shell of this creature in the watery mirror.

Looking over at his “snout”, and flickering his ears, as he turned his head side to side, he seriously wondered what the hell he was.

“I kind of look like a bug,” he deduced, and it was far more likely that he was right. He’d definitely seen more than his fair share of bugs when he was a kid, and as he gained Sage Mode in Mount Myōbokuzan he’d been more than surrounded by bugs.

Especially the ones the toads ate and fed him. Ech.

“That’s a memory I’m not too big on remembering again. Ugh.” He shuddered, as he tried to ignore the phantom taste of larva in his mouth.

His head tilted, as he looked up at the sky. He scratched his black, shell covered noggin.

“Wait, didn’t it rain? Where are the clouds?” He wondered out loud, but he would receive no answer. No one was around.

Now that thought about it, where was he exactly?

“I’m really wondering where I am right now.”

~TCL~

He’d been walking for some time now. He’d have tree jumped, but he was still feeling the exhaustion from his fight with Nagato. His tattered orange and black tracksuit revealed the slight amount of scrapes and bruises he held. He was almost sure the Kyuubi had something to do with this, but not like he could ask something that wasn’t there anymore.

The Kyuubi no Yoko, the bijuu of nine disaster swinging tails, the embodiment of darkness of his life…

Gone.

He idly wondered about this. His father had said that the fail-safe would take the Kyuubi away. A time-space technique that would rid the ninja world of the Kyuubi before it got out of hand. He never wanted this, because he personally knew the Kyuubi’s current jinchuuriki, but he always tried his best for the village.

The blond wasn’t sure what to think about his father, honestly. If broken down, it was his fault all the things that happened to him in life, did.

He shook his head.

He understood why he did it all. Naruto Uzumaki didn’t lay the blame on others when they were trapped in unbeatable circumstances.

He puffed out his chest in pride. His father was a great man. Besides, he was the Hokage, and he also had to look out for the village.

Coming to a stop, he lifted a hand to his chin.

He idly wondered... Would he have done the same as his father should he have been Hokage? It was a good distracting thought.

He moved as he thought.

He liked to think that he’d definitely think of the village first when it came to his own desires... but what if he had a family? Would he, in a time of need, push upon his son or daughter, he wasn’t specific, the responsibility? He honestly didn’t know.

Holding a hand, he thinks it was a hand, to his stomach, he entertained the thought for all of a moment before he snorted in disgust.

Never. He would never push this on anyone who was barely aware of the world. As proud of the man as he was, his father was also kind of an asshole. Make no mistake, Naruto appreciates it, the Kyuubi had gotten him out of a slew of situations where most wouldn’t end up walking away.

He patted his belly.

“Hear that furball, you’re appreciated,” he said out loud, to no avail. Not like anyone was even around in this place.

“Hello?” His holey ears perked.

‘Wait?’ His mind slowly caught up.

“Is somepony out there?” That voice... he didn’t recognize it.

…!

Holy shit, civilization! Other people!

He quickly made himself known to whoever it was. Idly forgetting the fact that he had no idea of whether this person was with good intentions or not.

At that moment, here was a boy who’d lost everything, and was seeking some form of human or whatever contact, with another sensible living being.

“Hey! Yo! Whoever this is, I’m over here!” he shouted out into the forest before he heard some bushes shaking to his far left. The rustling got louder, as whoever was coming followed his voice. The incoming person made him slightly nervous, as he picked at his “hair”.

He really hoped that this person wouldn’t mind seeing a giant bug-person. Kami above, he needed some good old fashioned human-

At that moment, the “person” broke through the foliage with a shout.

“Hey, I heard you! I didn’t think there were any...civilians...out...here?” The “person” petered out, as the two males, he was sure this guy was male at least, looked at one another.

Naruto couldn’t help but stare, as what could only be a bipedal, walking, talking, horse person came out of the bush. Noticing the horn on his head, the blonde touched the tip of his own pair, before getting a good look at this guy.

He was about just as tall as he was, so around 5’7, maybe 5’8. With blue hair and a tail of a darker and lighter coloration, baby blue eyes and white fur that covered his body. On his person, horseson(?), he was adorn in light looking armor. It seemed generic in make, maybe. Naruto had never really seen armor like this. He didn’t look like a samurai, but there was a sword at his waist.

All in all, if he had to guess, this guy was maybe a soldier, or something.

They stared at one another, eyes locked on.

They kind of just stood there for a moment, neither sure of what they should say, or who should say something first.

“Rookie! Get your ass back here, we don’t have all day! Pvt. Shining Armor where are-!” From the bushes emerged another of these horse people. With gunmetal gray fur, speckled white hair, was it a mane or hair, and tail. He was wearing a far more embroidered version of what the younger soldier was wearing, the older appearing to be in maybe his late 20s/early 30s. With other guy looking to be around his teens, maybe?

Naruto wasn’t sure how horses aged, so he went with his gut.

The elder horse-person, seemed to stop and stare at him, as the younger trainee, junior officer, whatever did.

His interruption did get their brains working though, enough so that they both yelled and pointed at one another.

What the hell/Tartarus are you?!” came a unison of yells, before the two looked at one another strangely, with matching frowns. The gray horse person narrowed his eyes at Naruto specifically, before resting his right hand on the hilt of his sword.

“Who are you? What are you? And finally, why are you in an sealed off zone meant for training the solar corps?” The questions were fired off with a low sounding growl, each one punctuated by a tightening of a body part, and the grip on his sword.

Seeing the elder of the two pony-people giving him a dark look, Naruto went out of his way to make sure no misunderstandings were had.

Holding up his hands in a placating, non-violent gesture, he spoke.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! I didn’t come here knowing any of that. I just sort of...ended up here. I was walking in the forest, and I just kept walking until, I don’t, something happened.” his words said, he looked the gray horse-person in the eyes and kept still.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Morse Code couldn’t help but narrow his eyes some more. His golden yellow orbs focusing in on the pony(?) before him in great scrutiny. He wasn’t even sure if this thing was a pony, even if it looked like one. From the way he looked, he seemed to have either been in a fight by the state of his clothes, or he was a bum.

The black carapace on this guy’s body, made him seem like some kind of bug, but he didn’t jump to conclusions. That was a rookie mistake, besides he noticed that this thing didn’t tell him what he was, or his name.

That said, he did notice several things about the seemingly teen creature.

One, he seemed fairly calm for being in a situation such as this one. Most ponies would at least be working up a sweat at the hint of violence. Unless he was one of those violence-junkie types, in which case, him being out here might have held a little credence.

Two, he could see that the blonde was giving them both a curious look. Like he’d never seen a pony before. Recalling his outburst from earlier, that may very well be the case, though that lead him to wonder where this being came from if he’d never seen a pony.

Three, the brat, because he was convinced he was a teen at best and all of them were brats until proven otherwise, looked him straight in the eye with nary a bit of hesitance.

Confidence. That’s what it was, but confidence in what was the missing clue here.

Whatever this kid’s game was, Morse wasn’t playing it.

“State your name, and whatever you are. I will not ask again.” He needed as much information as was possible.

___________________________________________________________________

Naruto wasn’t going to say he wasn’t impressed, this old guy was no joke.

A no nonsense character, who was strict and right to the book. He kind of reminded the ninja of...Ebisu, yeah, Ebisu-sensei.

Clearly, he wasn’t taking his misdirection of the first two questions. That said, the blond wasn’t sure what he could tell the man (what were the male equivalent for horses?), besides his name. And even then, it didn’t look like they recognized what he was, so the blond wasn’t sure if saying he didn’t know was gonna fly.

“...” His silence was telling, as he saw the older man horse crease his eyebrows.

“I repeat, establish yourself, before I have you detained for questioning.” This wasn’t going anywhere fast, and the blond wasn’t sure what he could do besides tell the guy what he did know, and end up a suspected convict.

“You have till the count of-!” he started, and the blond just decided, speaking was better than being considered a spy or something.

“Okay, okay, hold up! Look, my name is Uzumaki Naruto, and...I’m honestly not sure what I am, or where I am.” He just spoke truth, not like lying would get him anywhere, when he didn’t even know where “where” was.

“Wait, so you don’t know where you are? Wait, you don’t what you are? The hay?!” The blond looked to the younger soldier, as did the older one, who nodded his head.

“The junior officer’s right. None of what you said makes sense, so either you’re crazy or you’re lying.” The hold on the elder soldier’s sword grew strict, as the weapon slowly slid from its sheath.

Now the blond was on high-alert, as his composite eyes trained in on the double-sided sword leaving its holder.

Both the elder stallion and the blond bug-being were tense as the air of conflict began to grow. All it would take is a single move to spark action from the both of them.

A single twitch and they launched themselves at each other.

Naruto could feel the aches and pains from his battle with Pain. He’d taken quite the beating, got chakra burned inside out by the Kyuubi and had to keep fighting afterwards to ensure the peace of his home. He wasn’t in good shape, so his movements were fairly down. Mind you, he was still fast enough that he was sure he could disarm the horse-man, so they could talk this out.

He really didn’t need a warrant out on his head, in a place he still didn’t know the name of.

So with that mindset, he was prepared to make this as quick and painless, for both parties, as possible. So when a blue ephemeral wall came up between the two of them, he could be forgiven for running into it, and he would blame it on the exhaustion.

He grunted, as did the other guy, as they bounded off the wall. Both of them found themselves on the floor, rubbing their noggins before looking up at the construct of energy, at least Naruto thought it was.

The gray guy, though, looked to his junior officer, and Naruto followed his gaze to see the horned horse’s horn glowing as he held up two hands to the middle of the clearing.

“Junior officer! What’s the meaning of this?!” Sounds like old, gray and grumpy wasn’t so happy with this. Though the blond himself wondered the same, as he turned his head to the teen horse-boy, who gave a sheepish look to his superior.

“Sorry, sir! It’s just, well, I may have a solution to this if you’re willing, sir!” He saluted the gray stallion, who gave him the stink eye for a couple seconds. Moments later he sighed and rubbed the space between his eyes before looking at the unicorn with a narrow-eyed gaze, that switched over to Naruto.

“You better have a damn good explanation, when this is over, cadet.” The unicorn flinched, as he rubbed his arm.

“Yes, sir,” he sighed out, before jogging over to the mysterious being.

Naruto, at this point, was now curious. He’d give the teen points for courage. Naruto challenged authority on a semi-daily basis, but he knew others didn’t necessarily have that courage often.

Respect points.

“Excuse me, yo, uh...sorry about that.” he was now apologizing, to which the blonde couldn’t help but wave off.

“No harm, I can understand not trusting my story. It’s as far-fetched as it sounds, but it is the truth,” he explained. The single-horned teen gave him a nod of thanks before he spoke again.

“I think the best bet here, would be to use a Liar Seek spell,” he mentioned to his superior, who gave him a frown still, but now looked contemplative. With this Shining continued.

“My little sister used to tell me about some of the spells she found in the books at the Canterlot library. She showed it to me a couple of times, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of how it works.” His words were working, as he saw Morse rubbing his chin as he looked to the blond.

“Continue junior officer.” And that was good news.

Turning back to Naruto, he gave him a basic rundown of what he was going to do.

“A spell? What’s that? You mean like a jutsu, right? Spell sounds like all that magic stuff, and we all know that’s not real.” And just like that both unicorn and earth pony looked at the blond like he just grew a second head.

“I’m sorry, but did you just say that ‘magic isn’t real’?” the gray stallion said, to which Naruto nodded.

“Well duh, that’s like stuff for little kids. Everyone knows magic ain’t real.” The junior officer and his superior looked to one another before the grown-up stallion rubbed his fingers between his eyes again. This was going to be a headache if he was telling the truth.

Morse Code had never hoped so badly for somepony to be a really good liar. What the Tartarus was a “jutsu” anyway?

Too many questions, not enough answers. He hated those days.

Shining turned back to Naruto with renewed curiosity, before he began forming the spell.

Naruto for his part, watched as the horned horse guy’s horn began to glow a pale purple. The glow flowed from the horn and gathered into an orb above the blonde’s head. Said orb quickly grew a pupil, before staying above him.

Looking up at the eye, Naruto quirked an eyebrow, before turning to Shining Armor.whose horn stayed glowing. He smiled in satisfaction, before asking Naruto a question.

“So your name is Uzumaki?”

“Uh yeah, though Uzumaki is my last name.” Shining blinked, before tilting his at that.

“So your name is Naruto?” The blond nodded.

“Yep.”

“So why say your last name first?”

“That’s because... Huh, I’m honestly not sure? I never really paid attention in class, but I’m sure they went over this.” He tapped his chin, as he tried to think about why that was. Shining while curious, tilted his head upward. The eye hadn’t changed colors, staying the same pale purple of his own aura.

So Naruto Uzumaki was his name. Okay, let’s try something else.

“Are you sure you don’t believe in magic?” he asked with a raised eyebrow, the blonde just shot him a weird look.

“Uh, yeah, why would that change?” The eye was still pale purple, but now he was curious even more so.

“Then how do you think I did this?” he gestured with one hand to the floating eyeball above the blonde’s head, to which he just snorted.

“It’s obviously a jutsu. Magic ain’t real.” Just like that, they knew he was telling the truth, but that only left them with one explanation for this.

He was indeed telling the truth, which was kind of mindblowing, considering he didn’t know what magic was, or even his own race.

“You gotta be pretty good at doing jutsu though. There are few guys I know who can do them without handsigns.” And just like that, he’d lost them again.

~TCL~

“Wait so let me get this straight, magic is real? You’re a unicorn? He’s an earth pony? You guys are ponies?” He kept that gaping mouth look for a while as they walked. It was almost too funny, with how the blonde had freaked out earlier when he couldn’t find any of this “chakra” stuff when he went into “Sage Mode” as he called it.

They’d asked him about it, and all he could give them was a garbled mess of something about toads, insect, and lots of oil.

Twas a road that lead to madness, that one, so they dropped it.

“So, Shining was it? What are you guys doing out here?” the blond asked, causing both officers to stop and stare for a moment before Morse Code facepalmed, and Shining let out a nervous laugh, to which Morse gave him a stern look.

“You’ll be cleaning the latrine tonight, junior officer.” And there went Shinings hope that things had blown over. Throwing a look Naruto’s way, the unknowing a changeling simply whistled innocently.

They’d been traveling for a while now, and as they moved forward the blond couldn’t help but notice that the trees were thinning somewhat. That was one clue that they were transitioning to somewhere else.

The next was when he started hearing shouts, and the like synchronous chorus of “yes, sir!”, “Hup! Hup! Hup!”, and the like invaded his hearing senses. Ahead he could see a break in the trees, that once they passed, revealed to him what could only be a training camp.

Soldiers he’d assume, guys and gals in shirts and pants/shorts, were currently running laps around a perimeter of a track. Others were in the center seemingly doing routine calls and exercising.

Another section had horse-people, no wait ponies, running a set of obstacles.

It brought him a sense of nostalgia. It reminded a lot of the academy. He could even see a couple of groups some distance away from them practicing hand-to-hand, or fighting with their swords, as others cheered them on.

Seeing the blonde's expression, Shining was quick to give him the rundown. All the while, Morse Code looked on as he saw several of his fellow officers spread throughout the area. He saw a certain group of ponies coming their way.

A male pegasus in the lead followed by two unicorns, one female and one male.

Meeting them mid-way, Morse Code separated from both Naruto and Shining, leaving the two teens to talk amongst themselves.

“So who are these guys?” he whispered to his fellow teen, who glanced to the blond out of the corner of his eye, as they faced forward.

“Those are the other members of the Royal Guard. Captain Sail Wind, and his captain-lieutenants. Lumen Glow, and Bright Glow, they’re twins,” Shining explained, causing Naruto to nod his head. He took notice of the fact that both the twins sent a strange look his way.

Morse code was done speaking with Sail Wind, when the duo brought his attention to the blond non-equine.

Seeing him look his way, Morse led them over.

When they got close, he took notice of the curious gaze of the male twin, while the female was sending him that same no nonsense vibe Morse did. Sail was quick to look him over for a moment before turning to Morse with a frown.

“So you have no idea what he is, or where he came from? Morse, you understand that this sounds ridiculous.” The more smooth sounding voice of the Captain pegasus brought Naruto’s attention to him.

Green eyes, curly yellow hair and blue fur. This was another thing he noticed about these ponies, they were every freaking color under the sun. Morse Code sighed for the nth time that day, before retelling of how things had progressed to where they were now. When he got to the part about the possible near fight, Sail Wind and Lumen glow narrowed their eyes, with the female twin turning her slightly angered gaze his way.

He rolled his eyes at her, she narrowed her eyes even further, and from there he knew.

She was NOT going to be a fan of him anytime soon. If the look was anything, she was probably super suspicious as it was.

And he was right. Not even moments later, the earth pony captain called over Shining, while the twins made themselves passage into his orb of personal space.

Twin sets of light brown fur, and dark pink hair. The separating lens for them was that while Lumen had green eyes and her hair fell to her shoulders, Bright’s eyes were lime green and his hair was short in a buzz cut.

Bright Glow seemed to be curios of his looks, as he rubbed a hand to his chin. He looked the blond up and down, before leaning back and looking skyward.

Lumen on the other hand.

“I’m going to make one thing straight here…” she started, garnering his attention and a frown at the look of hostility she bore. Her hand was clenching as if to grasp something that wasn’t there.

“I don’t trust you. No pony does, nor should they. That junior officer is lucky that he didn’t end up dead because of an unknown variable such as you,” she hissed at him, which caused him to glare back at her with little fear.

Weakened as he was, the blonde felt that she was just being overly paranoid, and if it came down to it he could handle her. As he stood there though, he couldn’t help but notice something in the air. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was seemingly sweet smelling and his tongue flicked across his lip as if to try and taste it.

“Sister, cool it. Seriously, it’s not like Captain Code wasn’t there the whole time. If things got out of hand, he would had handled it,” the brother said, causing her to look off to the side, before turning his attention to Naruto himself.

The ninja raised an eyebrow, as the other rosette gave a confident smile.

“Look, while she is right that you’re an unknown variable, I don’t think that her sense of hostility should be so…” He tried to find a good word for it, but Naruto supplied him one.

“Obvious?” he said, to which the sister glared at how young he sounded, while the brother just laughed as he nodded.

“Hah! See, even he could tell,” he said to his sister, who gave Bright an annoyed look.

“Shut up, Bright,” she huffed, before turning her gaze back to the blond bug-person.

“Well, yeah, but seriously, we don’t mean any harm,” Lumen snorted causing him to sweat. “I mean it, uh….Yeah I got nothing. Just try not to get on her bad side, please?” he sighed, before Naruto blurted out.

“She has a good side?” That earned him a glare that could melt stone from the sister, and a laugh from the brother.

By that point the Captains had finished talking with Shining and sent off the junior officer to a large building in the distance. The duo of earth pony and pegasus walked over.

“Morse tells me, that you have no idea what you are. Quite frankly, I find all that a bunch of bull hocky, but in lieu of the fact that one of our officers had a liar scrying spell used on you, and it turned out positive, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt,” he said, forest green eyes flicking to the blond’s sapphire blues.

“Right...so, what now?” That was the question wasn’t it? When he really thought of it...What was he supposed to do? He had no identification here, besides his name. He didn’t know what he was, so he wasn’t sure if pony-jobs were the fit for whatever a bug-person like him did.
His tongue flicked across his lips again, involuntarily due to his new dilemma, but also to seemingly catch that taste again.

Weird.

He had no idea where to go from here....crap.

*Sigh*, that’s a really good question. Do you have any bits to your name?” He tilted his head at him, and the stallion could only shake his head.

“Bits?” He questioned.

“Yeah, bits. Little gold coins. You know, money?” This caused the blond to search his pockets, before pulling out a few gold coins...just that they weren’t bits.

“You mean ryō?” he inquired, causing the captains and lieutenants to take a look at the currency he showed them. They were gold colored like bits, but they were in different shapes. More oval like, and they had little ridges on each side.

Picking one up, Sail Wind gave it one more look-over before shaking his head, causing the blond to curse.

‘Dammit dad! Couldn’t you have at least had the money change with me?!’ his mind screamed at his father, as the quintet of four ponies and a bug-person stood around.

*Growl*

They all looked around for a moment, before their eyes landed on a sheepishly laughing blonde, who only groaned as his stomach went off again. Bright had a laugh as Morse and Sail let out small smiles. Lumen was unmoved and just gave him a raised eyebrow.

“Really?” she said, in a mocking sort of tone. He just whined.

“It’s been so long since I’ve had food~...” (T_T)

“Well, it’s about to be dinner time actually.” Sail reached into his right pocket, and pulled out a bronze pocket-watch. He checked the time, and nodded his head, before whistling over to a nearby pegasus.

The blond snapped his head skyward, and saw indeed that the sky had turned an orange hue. The sun was currently lower in the sky then he remembered.

Said pony nodded, before he gave out calls to get to the mess hall. Simultaneous calls were heard from captains in different sections of the camp, followed by the cheers from the junior officers.

They all watched as the groups began to converge in on the large building in the distance where Shining had gone earlier. Though many a time, he saw several ponies taking a look at him.

Some cringed, some seemed curious, some squinted their eyes and others didn’t bother with any special attention.

‘Huh, so maybe this won’t be that bad.’

~TCL~

Okay so things…could be better.

So those looks from earlier were kind of indicative of what he’d be dealing with. The curious ones were definitely the best of them, with apathetic second best. Mind you, he’d gone to sit by himself, if only so he could eat in levity.

Aware from the curious ones, who thought he might unhinge his jaw or something to eat his sandwich. The indifferent ones were okay to be around, but they kind of came off as standoffish, or in worse cases, they were indifferent because they could be completely and totally unnervingly quiet among themselves.

Sitting near a group of indifferent ones, was like being near a pack of yakuza, no if’s and’s, or but’s, he couldn’t eat near people like that.

He took a bite of the strange meat sandwich, and couldn’t help but twitch as he heard an inaudible gasp somewhere in his right vicinity.

He let out a sigh, allowing his sharp teeth to the world, getting another small gasp.

He grit his teeth, and obviously went without saying, what happened.

Turns out, some ponies really didn’t like bugs. They shied away from him at every possible moment. If he even looked in some of their directions, they’d pull their heads down or look away.

It was unnerving in a different way. It almost reminded him of what it was like back when he was a kid, and trying to make friends at the park.

Almost. Too bad, there was also a fourth group that seemed to want to fill that niche in his life again.

All too eagerly.

He didn’t even need to do much for this group. They always had their eyes on him, even worse so than the curious ones. Always watching, always seeming to wait for him to mess up. The gazes were one thing, but the glares were another.

“Kami, take a picture why don’t you?” he muttered, as he could feel the glares of someone burning through the back of his skull. In that moment, once he had a good idea of the direction, he snapped his head to the east, catching the gaze of Lumen, and a small well of her friends, though he wondered if she could make those.

She narrowed her eyes at him, before he rolled his eyes once more and turned back to his lunch, missing the look of anger that she sent his way. Her little crew of both genders seemed to be of the various groups, but at least a third of them shared her opinion.

Ignoring them, he was about to get back to his food, before he found a tray now resting across from him, held by white fur covered hands. Looking up, he caught sight of Shining Armor,a s he smiled down at him, causing the blond to blink.

“This seat taken?” he asked, though it was really rhetorical or polite at this point, but the blonde shook his head, and gave a small smile.

“Nah, the only pony who was sitting there was some guy called “nothing”. Real strong, silent type that one, but he’s always willing to give up a seat.” he joked, to which Shining grinned, both of them digging into their food, his a weird meat sandwich, and the unicorn’s a sandwich made of a...dandelion?

He stared for a moment, before looking at his sandwich, then shrugging.

To each their own, ponies.

When he bit into his sandwich once more, he couldn’t help but think it tasted weird once more. Like seriously, it tasted kind of...watery? The taste was, okay? Sort of, but you could tell the difference if you had real beef before.

Seeing his expression, Shining spoke up.

“What’s up?” he asked, before taking a bite of his own sandwich. Naruto gave him a conflicted expression.

“Is there something wrong with the meat here?” The unicorn gave him a confused frown, before had an “ah-ha” expression.

“You’ve probably had REAL meat before right?” This left the blond confused.

“‘Real’ meat?” He parroted with fingers for air-quotes for emphasis. Shining nodded.

“Yeah, what you’re eating is a meat substitute. It’s usually reserved for griffon soldiers when we have cross military meets. Well there are some pegasi who prefer meat, but having real meat is kind of looked down upon in Equestria,” he said in a whisper, causing the blond to blink several more times, before he took another bite of his sandwich.

He’s had far worse. Still beat out bugs though.

By a LONG shot.

It was as they were having this little exchange, that Naruto saw something on the unicorn’s right hand.

“Hey Shining, what’s with the tattoo?” he inquired, as he finally had some decent conversation. He’d been noticing everyone had this weird tattoo like thing on their hands. If they were male it was on the right, while female had it on the left. The unicorn officer simple grinned in pride.

“This? This is my Cutie Mark,” he said, showing the blonde the marking, rolling up his right shoulder sleeve of his short-sleeved shirt to reveal an even bigger version of the mark on his deltoid. Naruto looked confused.

“Cutie Mark?” It sounded so...girly. Like seriously, who NAMED this thing, a little girl?

“Yeah, I’m going to assume that you’ve never seen one before?” The blond shook his head in the negative, causing the multi-blue maned pony to mumble.

“Than you’ve definitely never been in Equestria before.” The blonde just shrugged, as Shining went on to explain.

Apparently Cutie Marks were tattoos that appeared on the arms and butts, flanks, of ponies when they found out their “special talent”. Shining Armor’s was apparently shield “spells”, not jutsu.

It was in the midst of this conversation, that the two were joined by a certain male twin of Lumen’s, which caused the mare to glare over in Naruto’s direction once more. The blonde could only feel the chills going down his neck as her glare intensified. His tongue flicked outward involuntarily, as that sweet smell was back again.

“Hey guys, how’s it going?” His question was met by an enthused greeting by Shining.

“Pretty good sir! Naruto’s just getting used to the idea of fake meat. That and I was explaining these.” he finished his sentence by pointing to his exposed shoulder. Bright simply grinned, before turning blonde with that expression.

“Yeah, I was wondering, I don’t see a Cutie Mark on you, so you’re not a pony. Though maybe you’re a late bloomer.” He eyed the blonde’s shoulder with interest. Enough so, that he began to feel uncomfortable, but there wasn’t much for him to do about it.

Now that he thought about it.

“Are there some showers around here? And maybe somewhere where I can patch up my clothes?” They looked at him, thinking for a moment, before Bright snapped his fingers.

“I can patch those up for ya! I’m used to sewing my sister’s clothes, so that shouldn’t be a problem,” he said proudly, before giving the blond a look over.

“Don’t you want to get out of those things though? I mean, I can lend you some clothes, I’ve got spares in my bunk.” The blond frowned, and took a really good look at his clothes, but shook his head in the negative.

“These clothes are really dear to me. If I had to compare it, they’re like a memento of my late teacher.” They frowned solemnly, catching their expressions he did his best to relieve them.

“It’s no problem, I mean it. It’s not like you knew, besides I came to terms with it, not too long ago.” Even if he was trying to get them to relax Bright flinched, while Shining looked uncomfortable, more so now than before.

Naruto sighed, before he tried to steer the conversation into another direction.

“So, you can sew?” he asked, to which Bright Glow gave a nervous smile, causing the blond to frown.

“Well, yeah, I mean. Ever since me and sis were on our own, someone had to take up all the chores, and well...Let’s just say dad wasn’t very close by to really do anything.” He scratched the back of his head, before Naruto just nodded his head. He wasn’t planning on delving into the pasts of his...acquaintances? He’d like to call these guys his friends, but he wasn’t even sure if he was gonna stick around to make those kinds of bonds.

Turning to Shining, he hoped for a less solemn backstory at this table of males.

“What about you Shining? You got any hobbies?” This caused the unicorn to brighten slightly, before his cheeks went slightly red, as he scratched the back of his head.

“Uh, um, I mean. Nah, I don’t have any weird hobbies? Me and my little sister couldn’t cook to save our lives. I bet Spike is the one that cooks for her...Nope no hobbies, just plain old Shining! Heheheh, oh no,” he said nervously before seeing the smirk on Bright’s face.

“Hey Naruto, did you know that Shining over here is an avid collector of comic books.” The blonde didn’t know what they were, and gave him a weird look.

“Comic books?” They looked at him, like he had just said blasphemy.

~TCL~

Naruto could only stare up at the ceiling, as he lay in the improvised floor bedding he’d been given. He was currently situated in a shed near the other barracks. He’d basically done his best to move things around so he could relax on the floor, and Shining had been pretty cool with helping move things around so he could place the blankets they gave him down on the ground.

He stared in the dark of night, as moonlight shone through in the small lone window in the shed. He sighed, before turning on his side.

“What should I do now?” That was the biggest problem he had at the moment. To put things into perspective:

-He was alone, and stuck in some world he knew nothing about.
-He had no real currency to his name, though Morse and Bright suggested that he could sell his coins to get some bits.
-He changed races, somehow, but it’s not like he knew how ponies would react to a human anyway, so that wasn’t that serious.
-He...What did he have to do here?

That was the worst one.

He was a ninja, it’s what he wanted to be all his life. Pass academy, become genin, beat Sasuke’s sissy looking mug off his face and bring him home, and become hokage.

None of that beyond become genin was gonna happen. Though that little bit about being a genin did get him to snort.

He’d done things, and seen things, most genin would never experience in their careers. Not like it mattered now though.

‘...Do they have ninjas here?’ he thought, as he turned on his side again, doing his best to make himself comfortable. What could he do?

He entertained the thought of maybe joining these guys on their way through the end of the training camp. He mentally went over his body, and could nod in satisfaction as he could feel the sores and pains had lessened considerably after he’d gotten some food.

He was at...maybe 60%, which was more than enough from what he’d seen of the junior officers here. He remembered Shining saying that the camp would be coming to an end in the coming days. They’d be going on a miles long march through the forest, and circling around on a trail through some mountains to a place called “Canterlot”.

He’d been noticing that there were a LOT of horse puns.

‘Hopefully, nothing happens so I can just think about this some more,’ were his last thoughts, before he closed his eyes, and went to sleep.

______________________________________________________________________

Morse Code sat with Sail Wind and the other higher ranking officers. His eyes trailed over the the commanding officers, and fell on the two captain-lieutenants of Sail’s.

“So, what do you think of him?” somepony spoke up, and the rest followed with some form of acknowledgement of the question.

Bright Glow seemed to scratch the top of his head, minding his horn, before looking to his thin lipped sister. She was looking none too pleased with him earlier, and he was sure she was still slightly miffed with him.

“Permission to speak, sirs,” Lumen spoke first, and he wasn’t surprised to see the look on her face. She didn’t like Naruto in the least, and would probably make that perfectly clear in this meeting.

“Permission granted lieutenant.” And here came the exposition, as she stepped forward from him.

“Thank you, sir. I feel like I share the right opinion that none of that blonde’s words should be trusted,” she started, which caused Bright to frown. Morse and Sail looked to one another, before turning back to her with raised eyebrows.

“Continue,” Sail said.

“I don’t like the circumstances surrounding the appearance of a thing in the forest near the training camp. Especially when we’re so close to the end of the camp, where we will be returning to Canterlot. His story is beyond ridiculous, even with the testimony of junior officer Shining. No offense, Captain Morse Code, but I just don’t believe that a spell casted by a junior should be an end all, be all to a decision such as this.” Her piece said, she stepped back into line with her brother.

The congress of officers spoke amongst themselves as they mulled over this information. What Lumen had said was true.

A random passerby coming out of nowhere, that had no knowledge of the very country they were in? On top of that, there was also the fact the blond seemed to be lacking in some of the most basic knowledge of their land to begin with. To top it all though, was that he didn’t even have an idea of his race!

All those things by themselves were hard to believe, but topped on top of one another? It was reality of the situation that “Naruto” shouldn’t really be anywhere near Equestria.

Morse Code couldn’t help but chew on his lip, as he recalled when the blond and he were to come to blows hours ago. The blond was unknowing of where he was, but he was also a fighter. He’d even seemed like he’d been in a fight to begin with.

Sail Wind was of the mind that the blond was to be watched, but he wasn’t truly behind the idea. Naruto seemed to be fairly clueless for the most part, but that could all be an act.

“Lt. Lumen, you are aware of the fact that Shining’s spell knowledge does come from his sister correct? Young as she is, she does attend Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns.” Lumen nodded to this, and slightly chewed her lip.

“Correct sir, but Shining does NOT. He could very well be more inefficient with the spell than his sister, and it could have failed at points.” Not a truly solid possibility, but it was true that Shining was a specialist in shield spells, not general ones.

“What do we do with him though? Unknown as he may be, we can’t just release him into the forest.” That came from somewhere in the room. Bright searched for who it could have come from but came up with nothing. That said, this also sparked some form of response from those gathered.

“Do we just keep an eye on him?”

“Should we assign him to a troop of our best, and have them deal with it?”

“We could just detain him here, and leave on ahead. We’ll send somepony back to get him once we’re all situated in Canterlot.”

“Should we cuff him? We’ve got a few magic cancelling bracelets for when the trainees get rowdy don’t we?”

And multiple other suggestions of such a nature were thrown around. Bright couldn’t help but frown, as he listened to it all. Looking to his sister, he saw no sort of emotion on her face, but she caught his eyes, and they narrowed.

‘This is for the best,’ Her’s said.
‘None of this is right.’ His brow scrunched slightly.

‘It doesn’t have to be.’ Her’s were relaxed as they remained impassive.

‘So we’ll just basically imprison somepony based on a hunch?’ His expression tightened more so, as did hers.

‘If it’ll keep you safe, then YES!’

Morse Code closed his eyes, and heard it all, before turning his head towards Bright Glow.

“Lt. Bright,” his words cut off the siblings mental conversation, before Bright turned and saluted the Captain earth pony. This caught the attention of the room, as they all centered their eyes on the unicorn lieutenant, who sweated slightly.

“Sir?”

“We spoke earlier about something of importance, do you mind revealing what you’ve found out?” This caught the room’s attention, as Bright reached into his pocket, before retrieving a set of spheres.

Dark purple, and perfectly round, they were unassuming in nature. They even bounced, so most would assume that they were used for more mundane recreational activities.

To those that knew what they were though…

“Are those?” someone’s question rang out, before Morse nodded, as Bright’s hand left the orbs, but they didn’t drop from the air.

“Light Bending Alibi Ball, name pending,” Sail said, as Morse nodded, before they turned back to the tan unicorn.

“At 1820 hours, Lt. Bright went and joined the table of the ‘Naruto’ and junior officer Shining Armor. I had him carry the equipment, so we could conduct a test without the blonde’s knowledge of it.” This caught most of the room by surprise, sans Bright and Sail. Lumen looked to her brother, who scratched his short rosette hair.

“Yeah, I went about doing my own kind of investigating. I had one of our own lie scrying spells on hand, and had it running the whole time,” he said, causing somepony to ask.

“So what did you find?” Bright gave a thoughtful expression for a moment, before smiling.

“He seems sincere enough. He was open enough that he was forthcoming with a lot of answers. He seems kind of...dim, but not in a bad way. If I had to say, he’s slightly socially awkward, or more informal than anything. The attention in the mess hall wasn’t really helping things,” he stated, as Lumen turned away from him, though other officers were curious.

“Attention?” This question had the male twin frowning.

“Yes, his mannerisms, his looks and even what he eats. For the most part, I would say that me and junior officer Shining Armor were the only two he actually spoke to. And that’s not even from the lack of trying.” This caused the officers to murmur amongst themselves.

Morse nodded his head, as Sail brought his questions to the forefront of the meeting.

“Did you happen upon anything telling at least? You and him seemed to be cordial enough,” he asked with his hands held together behind his back. Bright seemed conflicted.

“Some things, yes. His favorite food was something called ‘ramen’, he’s had real meat before, but can digest various food groups. He seemed to be lacking in some basic things, but for the most part...The only thing I can truly say, is that he’s lost somepony recently. His teacher, apparently recently passed. When I mentioned throwing away his current garments he asked to instead have them fixed, or at least in a stable state,” he finally said, after some mulling over, though the frown he had on his face said he wasn’t too fond of sharing that last bit.

Bright honestly didn’t think that the blonde was bad. He honestly seemed like he was lost. Like he didn’t know what to do.

It made Bright feel bad.

“I’d also like to bring to attention something,” Morse code spoke up, before retrieving a gold coin from his pocket.

It wasn’t a bit, that was for sure.

“What’s that?”

“This ladies and gentleponies, is a currency that the blonde had on him when we asked if he was without money.” He held it up, and all in attendance, minus those who’d already seen it.

“He called this ‘ryō’, and he’s unfamiliar with the concept of what a Bit is.” This sparked a question from the group.

“Did you take this while he wasn’t looking?” Morse actually chuckled.

“As a matter of fact, I didn’t. He let me haveit, after I asked for it. He honestly has no idea where he is, and I suggested that he should try and get this turned into some of our currency.” This caused the rest to murmur, as Bright sighed in relief and Lumen frowned.

“All those gathered here, I believe that what morse is trying to say is, that we might actually be dealing with a unique case here.”

From there things progressed.

~TCL~

Morning After…

Naruto only looked around as he saw every one of the ponies packing something. He felt kind of uncomfortable as he stood there, waiting for someone to speak to, or more like finding Shining or Bright.

“I see you’re up and early today. I’m surprised, I imagined you’d be sleeping more.” Coming behind the blonde was Sail Wind, whose own blonde hair moved in the breeze as Naruto’s own.

The ninja hadn’t flinched at all when the officer came up behind him, but did turn to him. He sheepishly scratched the back of his head.

“Yeah well, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. Both here, and in general.” This caused Sail to nod his head, as he thought back to the discussion from last night.

‘He really has no idea what to do.’

They both just kind of stood there for a moment, before the blonde kind of just stared at him expectantly, causing him to raise an eyebrow.

“Yes?” He inquired, as the blond just grinned nervously, before shrugging.

“Isn’t there something you want to ask me? Like to do something, or better yet to know something?” Consider his curiosity peaked, sail wasn’t expecting the blond to have caught onto this, but when he considered the way most of the officers were treating him…

“You’re right, I do want to ask you something. You understand that we don’t fully trust you…” The blonde genin nodded his head in the affirmative.

“To be fair, we were thinking of just letting you go. You have no reason to be with us, and we have no real reason to keep you here. We’d give you a small set of rations, and some money and send you off.” This caught the blonde off-guard as he looked at the captain, before he looked to the side conflicted.

“You sure that’d be a good idea? I can’t imagine that this was just something you just decided to do to be nice. Besides...I’m not even sure where to go from here.” Sail Wind simply nodded, as they looked over at the moving officers. The last sage of Mt. Myobokuzan spotted Shining, and waved at him, as he saw the unicorn teen moving a set of sleeping bags.

The white unicorn tried to wave back, but only just found himself overwhelmed by the his luggage and was now in a pile of the sleeping articles, causing those around him to laughed, Naruto included from where he was.

Sail simply watched as the blond did this, and closed his eyes in contemplation, before opening them again.

His mind was made up.

“We’re going to be traveling for a few days, before we make our return trip to Canterlot,” he stated, to which the younger blond nodded his head.

“Yeah, Shining and Bright told me about how close this thing actually was to being finished,” he injected, while Sail nodded once more.

“You have no direction, no way home and no idea of where you truly are.” He watched as the blonde listened, and noticed that dip in emotion when he said that the blond had no way home, which matched with what they knew.

The blond was truly stranded.

“We decided that maybe keeping an eye on you until we get back to Canterlot, would be a better option,” he said straight faced, all the while Naruto came to the slow revelation of what he was saying, before he coughed into his fist.

“Right. I understand, completely. I’ll try not to cause any trouble.” Sail had to smirk at that.

“Good, so while we keep an eye on you, why don’t you help Jr. officer Armor with his duties.” He said offhand, only to find himself talking to air, as the blond was already on his way to Shining’s side and pulling bags.

~TCL~

The following days had been slightly interesting, if the only because he was seeing the side of Bright he wasn’t expecting.

Watching the unicorn that was currently tossing and turning a pan of rice, as he added eggs and vegetables to it. The lieutenant hummed as he carefully added a couple more turns, before sharing out the rice to the next available trainee.

Naruto and Shining were one of the few who’d gotten their food first, and by the end of it all, they sat near by Bright, as he was on cooking duty.

Eating some of his fried rice, the blonde could appreciate how much of a mean cook Bright actually was. The rosette had some serious kitchen skills, as he and Shining could attest to. He tugged the outfit he now wore. A long sleeve thin white shirt, and dark blue sweat pants.

Bright was currently patching up his tracksuit, but the blonde was fine with waiting.

“See, I told you he was one heck of a cook,” Shining bragged, as he nearly finished his own plate. Naruto merely smirked.

“I’ll give you that, he’s a damn good cook,” the bug-man said, to which Shining nodded his head enthusiastically. They continued to eat, before being joined by a certain set of twin lieutenants.

Lumen was as pleasant as ever, if the sneer she sent his way was ever telling. Bright merely grinned at them, as the duo of brother and sister sat down. Strangely enough, Lumen made sure that the two of them sat across from him and Shining. He’d sighed, but he’d been getting used to the cold treatment from her and a few select others.

Better than anything he guessed. At least they weren’t going out of their way to antagonize him.

“So I hear you guys were enjoying a master chef’s cooking over here. I figured I’d come over and see what all the noise was about.” The other males grinned at him, before Naruto spoke.

“Yeah, real masterpiece. The rice and vegetables come so finely together, I can taste angels in my mouth.” Shining eagerly nodded his head in conjunction. Bright was quick to lap up the praise, as Lumen sat at his side, but if the blond was seeing right, she was smiling slightly, as she ate her meal.

Until she caught him staring, and frowned at him, causing him to whistle to the side.

“So how much longer do you think it will be until we get home?” Hearing Shining’s question the blonde turned his attention back to the two males, Lumen mirroring his action.

“Hmm,” Bright thought about it, as he took a bite of his rice. He was about to open his mouth but.

“Ahem, I hope I don’t need to remind you to NOT talk when your mouth is full.” Hearing his sister, caused him to freeze in place, before he swallowed audibly, causing the two younger males to snicker.

“Err, uh, right. Like I was about to say, we’re maybe a good two or three days away from Canterlot. Most of the next few days will be spent traversing through the mountainous region though. Not only the terrain, but there are some sleeping Scorpoleons on the path through the mountains,” he said, causing Shining to gasp, while Naruto looked confused.

“Scorpoleons? The heck is that?” he asked, as he looked for an answer from both the males, but it came as a surprise that it was Lumen who answered him.

“Scorpoleons, scorpion-chameleon family. Shape of a scorpion in form, sizes ranging from pony sized to maybe a story or two. Poison is lethal, and must be vaccinated almost immediately upon being administered within 20 mins of injection. Special skills: Invisibility,” she shot off, textbook style information. The blonde, male rosette, and bluenette all just stared at her, before Bright just laughed.

“Yep, that’s sis for you. Always the textbook, but that’s why we love her!” he said with a laugh, as he pulled her into a one-armed hug. The blonde was about to laugh, but hiccuped, as he smelled that sweet scent again, and quickly covered his mouth.

Watching Lumen get flustered was pretty alright though.

~TCL~

He looked up at the mountain, as the group marched on.

They’d come across the mountainous path some time ago. Maybe half a day’s travel in, and the blonde couldn’t help but feel slightly creeped out. The mountain was pretty large, and apparently, there was a city at the other side of it. That said, they were going to go around the side and travel up the large uplift of rocky terrain.

He didn’t know why, but he felt an ominous vibe coming from the mountain. He would have stood there a little longer, but he felt someone pat him on the back.

“Ready for this?” He could hear from his left, as Bright Glow passed him. The blonde was currently carrying a few of the bags, as was everyone else. That said, the blond was almost 100% sure that he got left with more bags than most anyone else. That or the heaviest, if he was seeing everyone in front of him right.

He could see out of the corner of his eye, Morse Code and another Captain he didn’t recognize speaking to one another. Shining was somewhere ahead of him, speaking with a couple of the others. He found it weird, just how ostracized he felt right now.

A lone bug-man-thing on an island situation.

Looking up once more as they moved, the blonde couldn’t help but notice how strange this mountain looked. While there was greenery here and there, the rock sections seemed to be cleanly separated.

It was like a literal perfect trail. Then again this apparently wasn’t the first ever time that an army assortment had walked these pathways.

He looked up and far as he saw a ledge on the mountain that they’d be passing over probably somewhere down the line.

“Something the matter Uzumaki?” There was Sail Wind bringing up the rear with him. The blonde turned and acknowledged the elder one, as he came out of his thoughts.

“Just got some really bad feelings about the place up ahead,” the genin stated, to which Sail frowned, as he too turned his head to the destination ahead. He couldn’t help but understand why his fellow younger blonde might be feeling this way.

The ledge in the distance looked remarkably unstable. It had given him those same feelings back when he’d first done these training marches.

He reassured the teen bug-guy that things just seemed ominous. For the most part that they’d done this before, and as such nothing would happen that would interrupt their way home.

Leaving the blonde to his thoughts Sail walked on ahead. Naruto once more thought about the idea of ‘home,’ and couldn’t really shake his funk. Besides the bad feeling from the that archway, the idea of what he was going to do still alluded him.

While he was thinking on this, he didn’t see the last person who began to pass him. Looking up as he caught sight of medium length hair that went down to her chin, Naruto called out to the pony in question.

“Hey Lumen!” He must have shocked her because she froze mid-step, as if something impossible had happened.

He shrugged it off, not important.

“Uzu...maki?” She slowly turned and gave him a confused raise of an eyebrow, as if he was some sort of weird phenomenon or something, which had him rightfully miffed.

He pouted.

“Hey wait! Why are you saying it like that? That’s kind of rude, doncha know?” He felt the indignity setting in, but her expression turned from confused frown, to impassive indifference again.

“Why I do the things I do is my business, and mine alone. Now speak, or this conversation is going to be a lot shorter than you’re expecting.” Is what she said, but internally she wanted to know why he called out to her, curious she was.

He rolled his eyes at her once more, before getting straight to it.

“You were telling us about those ‘Scorpoleon’ things, and that’s got me wondering...how do you defeat one?” His inquiry must of shocked because her expression changed from one of impassiveness, to shock, and than to a confused frown.

“And why pray tell, do you want to know that?” He gave her a familiar looking expression.

“Why I do the things I do is my business, and mine alone.” She wasn’t amused.

“I can see this ‘conversation’ was short. Thanks for wasting my time, Uzu-”

“Fine! Fine, geez! Take a joke will you?” He gave an exasperated look, to which she returned one with an annoyed frown. Seeing her expression he grumbled, before being straightforward.

“I don’t think things are going to go well once we reach the mountain, so I want to be prepared for anything that might go wrong.” She scrunched up her nose at him, and turned away, but she kept a pace where she wasn’t outpacing him.

“...Scorpoleons aren’t known to be very distinctly hard to subjugate. The relatively small ones of their size range should be turned over on their sides or backs. They can be stabbed in the soft underbelly for a quick kill. No matter the size, ALL of them carry lethal venom in their tails and such the stinger should be avoided as much as possible,” she sited off, as they walked, though he found something interesting about what she said.

“Okay, good to know, but what about the bigger ones?” She didn’t even stop when she answered him.

“You don’t fight the big ones. Anything that goes beyond the size of a single house is to be ignored hopefully, and retreated from in the worst case,” she stated with finality, causing the blonde to frown.

“Is two-stories the biggest these things can get?” he asked, but she didn’t answer right away.

“Official records state them at maxing out at 2 stories.”

“...”

“...”
“...”

“...and unofficially?” he finally asked.

She didn’t answer.

~TCL~

He looked up at the moon and star filled sky in contemplation. He idly thought about his friends back home. What were they doing? Were they mourning him? Were they able to rebuild the village?

He simply kept looking up, he wouldn’t be bothered by anyone here. He’d taken a few meters away from the camp set up, on the mountain trail, and as such decided some “me” time was necessary.

“Naruto? I knew I saw you coming out here!” The voice of Shining Armor broke through the silence of his immediate area, the blond couldn’t help but sigh, he did smile though. Shining was the closest thing to a friend that he had in this place.

“Shining, what’s up?” he asked, as the unicorn settled in next to him. Standing side by side, they simply watched the stars, time stretching between them.

“So what’s on your mind? You kind of just wandered off, after talking to Captain Wind.” He tilted his head in curiosity, and the blonde let out a sigh, as that was brought back to the forefront of his mind.

“I’m just...Not sure what I’m supposed to do at this point Shining.” The unicorn hummed for a moment.

“What do you mean?” The blonde sent him a conflicted smile, before he let out a breath.

“When I told you guys about me being here with no clue, I was telling you the truth. That said, I didn’t tell you the whole story behind it. To give you an idea, I’ve been training nearly my whole life to be a warrior, plain and simple. It’s always been my dream since I was twelve. Four years later, and I’m in a fight to save the village I lived in,” he explained, but Shining frowned.

“But something happened and now you’re here?” The bug-teen nodded.

“Right. I...I did something that came with repercussions, and now I ended up here. Looking like this,” he waved an arm over his form. Shining thought about what he said for a moment, before his eyes went wide.

“Wait are you telling me…?” Naruto nodded.

“I never looked like this where I’m from. I used to be what was called a human, as a matter of fact. Let me show you.”

“What are you about to do?”

“Show you a jutsu. Watch Henge no-!” he started, but something unexpected happened.

He envisioned his normal self like he would in a normal Henge for any other reason, but before he could actual start churning the chakra for the technique, his body lit up in orange, energy like fire, and the next moment he looked like himself. His human self.

Shining looked on in wonder as he saw this “human” form of his blonde semi-sorta companion. The blonde himself seemed in wonder as well, as he scrutinized the features he now bore, or bore again in his case.

“Whoa, dude...This is what a human looks like?...Kind of remind me of monkeys, except you’re less hairy, and you know. No tails.” he gestured to the blonde’s features, before ending by wagging his own extra appendage. Though he started to worry, when the blonde former-bug guy looked at him with a frown.

“Something’s not right. I didn’t do the jutsu. I just thought about how I looked and, ‘boom’ here I am. I’ve never been able to do that before, and I shouldn’t have been able to without making handsigns. Something’s not right about this.” He gave Shining a look of annoyed confusion, before the unicorn asked him a question.

“So you’ve never been able to do this before?” he asked, to which the “human” nodded. Shining reciprocated the gesture, before asking some more.

“So this is new to you?” Another nod.

“You shouldn’t have been able to do this without these “handsigns” thing. Not only that, but you know this isn’t right?” Another set of nods, which had Shining looking at Naruto, who blinked.

“Maybe it has something to do with what you changed into when you came here?” Shining would never been as smart as his sister, but he was still intelligent. As Twilight liked quoting from that textbook of hers:

There’s a cause and effect for everything.

Naruto took the words in for a moment, before running them into his head. He let it move for a bit, before he nodded to Shining.

“Let me try something.” The human version of Naruto closed his eyes, before he was enveloped by another flash of orange energy, and in his place stood Shining Armor.

Shining simply stood slack jawed as his friend changed over and over again.

First Shining.

Bright Glow.

Morse Code.

Sail Wind.

Lumen Glow.

Then he changed into, what Shining could only assume was more “humans”.

A pink haired girl.

A man with hair that veered to the left, with a mask over the bottom of his face.

A woman with huge, ahem, “assets.” Some of the largest he’d ever seen.

A girl with long violet hair, in a large coat.

Finally a teen with hair that short up near the back like a duck’s tail, with two bangs down the sides. His eyes were red with commas in them.

Then the blonde was back to his “bug guy” form, frowning.

“So this really is the new ‘me’,” Naruto said with a tone of finality, before turning to look at a nervous junior officer. He smiled at his unicorn friend.

“Look, we learned something new, but that’s not what’s important. What is...is that basically I’ve got nothing to live for at this point.” Shining frowned, and the blonde held up a hand to stop any possible insinuations that might get thrown around.

“Don’t go off the deep end. I’m not saying that I plan on falling into a depression anytime soon, especially when I just came out of one. What I’m saying is, is that I’ve done nothing but fight my whole life. What am I supposed to do now?”

Shining understood what the blonde was saying, now more so since he explained it. What could he do?

“Before you ask, I don’t really have that many other skills. I do enjoy taking care of plants, but AS A HOBBY!” he said, stopping Shining from raising that single finger of his any further. “I’ve done construction work, sort of, before, but that’s it.”

Shining scratched the back of his head, as the both of them continued to stare up at the sky, minds in turmoil.

~TCL~

They’d made it to the mountain and were a good distance from where they entered.

Naruto, once more saddled with bags that seemed larger than the others, kept pace with the other pony officers as the group began to move towards and under the arch that they’d seen from earlier.

Said arch was pretty big. It seemed to be made from some pretty bulky stone.. Smooth boulders that sat on top of one another from the edge in the ground, to the top of the arch where it smoothed out towards the middle all the way to the bit where it connected to the mountain.

All in all, it was another weird thing he jotted down as just “Equestria stuff.”

They were currently slowly trekking through the middle bit of the arch way, whose peak extended just a bit over 5 ponies high at it’s peak. Getting a closer look at it, he couldn’t help but notice just how smooth the stone actually was. Those of the other groups thought so as well, as they all stared at it for a moment, before moving on.

Naruto stopped and stared for a moment, as that ominous feeling came back. He observed the stone, before getting his sleeve tugged on by Shining, as the unicorn pulled him back into place next to him. Taking the blond away from the steep drop by the trail they were following.

“Come on, we gotta stay together, Captain’s orders,” he said in a hushed voice, causing the blonde to take his eyes off the stone arch’s connecting foot. He looked back one more time, before nodding and the two caught up with the rest of the troops.

Falling into rank next to Shining, who was in rank with one captain officer on each side, whom the bug-teen couldn’t recognize, they marched on, their feet were taking them around the mountain, which upon its other side was Canterlot.

Naruto could see ahead to some of the other groups, keeping an eye out for one of his other recognizable companions.

Morse and Sail were at the middle of the lines on each side of the formation, while Lumen and Bright were near the duo as they were near the back, but still ahead by maybe 2-4 lines.

Naruto couldn’t help but see Lumen focusing on the cliffs above them, as look out. She let her eyes move to and fro, before taking a moment to find his catching hers. She surprised him by nodding her head upwards at the cliffs, and the ninja moved his head in that direction.

He looked and looked, but saw nothing, as they moved.

All of a sudden a single stone pebble fell from a cliff top up above. The sound of the rolling stone caused everyone to freeze, as they all watched the stone pebble fall, before passing it off as nothing. The stone rolled to the side of the formation where Lumen stood staring at it.

Naruto for his part felt that ominous feeling from before increase by tenfold, as he stared at the pebble. He stopped in place, and closed his eyes, Shining stopping and frowning at him, as he did.

The unicorn was about to say something, before he noticed that yellow and red lines began to trail up the sides of the blonde’s eyes. The moment they looked complete though, he snapped his eyes in the direction of Lumen, and seemed to blur to her.

Most didn’t know what happened next, because it all seemed to happen too fast.

The blonde had reached Lumen before anyone was even aware. After which, he grabbed and then threw her in the direction of her brother.

Lumen could only watch in slow motion as something hit the blonde from the path, off of the cliff. All could only watch as the blonde stayed airborne momentarily, before time sped back up again.

Yet that didn’t stop them from hearing the blonde’s yell.

“We’re surrounded!”

The world summarily erupted into chaos, as a screech erupted from the previous location of the blonde bug teen.

~TCL~

Shining could only gape, as did Bright, Morse, Lumen and Sail, as they watched the blonde fall over the ledge.

Most of those who saw it happened couldn’t even believe it. Yet, that wasn’t what spurred them into action. It was when the blonde’s shout finally registered in their ears did the severity of the situation kick in.

*Screeeeeeccchhhh! *

They could all hear them.

“Troops to the defense! Break off into groups of 5 each. I want two groups to a damn animal! Never turn your backs on them!” Orders were shouted by Morse, as the world became a cacophony of screeches and screams.

Scorpoleons.

Those of higher command broke off into even numbers for each group, each once getting 1 commander and two lieutenants.

Shining found himself in a group of Lumen, Bright and Morse, with he 9 other junior officers falling behind them with involuntary movement as they held their lines together. He could see the fear in the eyes of the other juniors. Heck, he probably had some himself, but his mind was focused on other things.

Like wondering whether Naruto had survived the fall or not.

“Jr. Officer Shining Armor, and all other unicorns, Barrier spells NOW!” Bright shouted, as his sister and he stood side by side.

The call for barriers were quickly answered as each group was covered by a shielding construct made of energy.

From which silence had fallen.

He could hear the breaths of his fellow officers going rapidly. Some of them were probably still in shock at having somepony...disappear like that. He was still reeling from it, but he shoved it down for later.

No mourning on the battlefield.

Lumen seemed like she was in the shock of her life. It must have been beyond shocking to have somepony, who you didn’t get along with, basically save your life at the cost of their own.

He looked around at all the other groups, as they stopped moving, shields in place. He couldn’t help but try to stretch his hearing to around them.

All those in attendance could only listen, as the scuttling of the scorpoleons rang about them. Shining was almost given a heart attack when something hit his shield, the defensive construct letting out a muted bang, as the invisible animal hit it.

Letting his heart slow down, he grinned as the beast couldn’t get past his defense. Giggling slightly in relief, he turned back to the others inside, as Morse Code went about trying to come up with a plan.

“We need a strategy. Sight is compromised, and we’re being held down, by heavy forces. The enemy is possibly 10 or more strong, and we’ve allocated 13 officers to a presumed 10 units of opposition,” he laid down the full grasp of the situation that they had, all the while the twins were looking to one another in worry.

“We’re dealing with Scorpoleons, sir. We need a way to identify the targets for any assault to work.” Morse knew that, but the headache to deal that particular problem was still going to come.

They all looked to Morse for orders, and seeing this, he sighed. He thought of what they could do.

-They needed to be able to actually see the enemy to pull off any offensive right now.

-At the same time, the beasts couldn’t get into the shields, thank Celestia, but that wouldn’t last forever.

-Third and last, they needed to find out where that goddess forsaken sound was coming from!

“DATTEBAYO~!” It was a series of shouts of similar wording, but that was just it. Where the heck was it coming from?!

Those all around were wondering themselves, before there were several crashes at particular points by each of the formation. Following each crash was something that sounded like breaking stone, and a squishy noises, each followed by a shriek of what could only be the scorpoleon.

When the dust settled, many found themselves surprised to find a very interesting sight of several familiar looking black carapaced covered beings with yellow eyes.

Those in Shining’s spell could only look on in confusion, before a shadow dropped down in front of them, with a large swirling ball of light.

“Odama Rasengan!”

The world to the right of Shining erupted into a pastey looking green of insectoid innards and body parts, as the orb of light expanded and dispersed.

Standing in the center of it all without a single bit of gunk on him was…

“Naruto!” Shining called out in relief. The bug-teen simply smiled, while giving a thumbs up.

“Glad to know I made it in time. I honestly wasn’t expecting the fall to take nearly as long as it did, but well, I found a way.” There was movement from the blonde’s back, showing a long thin wire like tail, that ended in a set of yellow, thin sharp looking prongs.

“Holy crap, you’re alive!” Bright exclaimed, as the rest of those in attendance nodded. Lumen looked like she’d seen a ghost, as the blonde looked them over.

“Good to see you guys are all good. Smart move on the barriers.” He was speaking so casually! Like he hadn’t just utterly demolished a pony sized invisible scorpion! Morse asserted himself to the front of the group, all the while looking at the blonde with a frown.

“Look I’m glad you came to help, but we still need to handle the rest of the-” Naruto finished for him, with a question.

“The scorpoleons?” he said with a tilt of his head, before turning back to the other sets of groups in barriers. The others followed his gaze, gaping at what they saw, as the bug-teen smiled.

“I hope you don’t mind that I might have made this a little bit easier for you.” They all took in the scene of several more messes of scorpoleon innards. Several of which were slightly bigger the others. Not only that, but by several other shields were explosions of color, various hues and the like.

Most importantly though, was the multicolored scorpion shapes they could all see from within the defensive spells.

There were 6 in total. Each of them various different colors, but the scope was the sizes of them.

All were pony sized.

They all could only look on in awe, before the blonde smirked.

“I’d like to think that it’s time for your come back,” he said, where earth pony captain smirked himself.

“Troops! To battle!” The fight was on.

The pony captains and their lieutenants were quick to overturn the tide of the battle, once they could see the former-invisible enemy.

Scorpoleons were tipped and overturned by the combine brute force of the earth pony officers. Pegasi were used to be quick and efficient to aim for the soft undersides, while they were given defense by their horned compatriots and Naruto’s clones.
Bright and Lumen held up the shield for their captain as the junior officers locked down both of the claws. Morse Code ran to its unprotected face, and took out both of its eyes, before leaping backwards. The lone beast was all that was left, only to find itself lifted by a currently yellow composite eyed blonde bug-teen, before being slammed on its back, only to be finished off by a pair of Shining and another unrecognizable trainee.

It let off one more loud shriek, before going limp.

The groups as a whole cheered as the battle was won. Junior officers hi-5’d as they met up in the center of the path, while captains and lieutenants had their own forms of congratulations in handshakes and words of encouragement.

Lumen found herself in a hug from her brother, causing her to flush, before she returned it. Morse Code simply wiped his brow.

Shining was currently hi-5ing another officer, before he turned to do the same with Naruto, only to find the blonde looking over a the archway in concern.

“Hey Naruto?” he called out, but the blonde seemed to only focus on the large stone overpass to care. Bright and Lumen came over, smiling and flushing, respectively.

“Awesome job out there! Man! I didn’t expect you to just come out of a fall like that, but when you did, it was amazing!” Bright’s praise fell on deaf ears, as the blonde was still looking over at the arch.

‘What is this?’ He could feel something. It had been a thing he noticed when they were fighting, but it seemed like, with each defeated scorpion-like enemy, this feeling grew stronger.

And it was in this direction, right behind them.

Morse Code looked over to the group, and was about to call them over, before the blonde’s eyes widened.

Then the trail shook.

It was a small rumbling, but it caught everybody’s attention, as they looked to the ground in confusion.

Sail Wind cursed.

“Did we upset some of the geography?! What’s going on?!”

“No…” Shining and the twin lieutenants turned to Naruto, who had a determined look on his face.

“Something worse.”

Then those on the trail had all their eyes widened, when the “Stone” archway began to lift itself from its place connected to the floor. The large boulders in the side of the mountain shook, before coming loose, as did a good subsection of the floor that the Scorpoleons probably came from.

All said and done, once things stopped moving, everyone just stared. Gazes going higher, and higher.

And higher.

At it’s peak, the arch of the tail was at least four stories in height. The body itself looked like the mountain, as if someone had taken an ice cream scooper and removed a chunk, with rocks protruding off the edges.

Eyes that were 8 in number and white in color stared back at them, before the large pincers came to rest in front of it.

All in all, most ponies simply fell on their knees, as the being stared around them. It looked around at the bodies of dead scorpoleons, before focusing in the gathering of ponies. Its head tilted, its eyes narrowed, and it screeched.

Shining couldn’t do anything but let his sword drop, as did most of the others, as the noise blasted their eardrums. Their minds failing to come up with any sort of plan that might enable them to get away. Get away being the only option, because to fight this, was suicide.

Not like they had much options in running away, besides maybe falling down the mountain side. Which while Naruto might be able to live through, they could not.

This was it.

‘Sorry Twily, your BBBBF is not going to be coming home any time soon, or at all. Bye mom, and dad, make sure that when Spike visits that he remembers there was a brother who showed him hoofball cards.’ His eyes closed in finality of what was to come, as the largest variant raised a pincer, easily the size of a large one story home to sweep them.

‘Cadance...I never got to tell you how much I really liked you.’

The pincer came down swinging, and most could only watch as it did. One second it was down on them, the next it flew to the side accompanied by a shout of “Dattebayo~.”

They only watched in complete and utter confusion as the blonde bug-teen floated for a moment before landing back onto the floor. Back to them, he turned his head to Shining, whose eyes snapped open in confusion.

“Don’t go dying on me right now Shining. It’d really suck to have you doing something like this while I’m right here,” he said with a smirk, as he turned back to the large insectoid. All the while he cracked his knuckles, as his tail whipped about.

“Naruto...What are you?” Shining asked, before the blonde grinned.

“Didn’t I tell you…” He turned back to humongous scorpoleon. He stopped for a moment before blurring to the front of the beast’s ‘face’, a fist cocked back.

“I’m Uzumaki Naruto!”

His fist flew.

And so did the beast.

Its body flew with great velocity before impacting the side of the mountain it bore from, cratering the rock face.

“Shinobi!”

And so began the fight, that would span a tale of one pony and the goliath.

And most would say it was built off the legend of an ant vs a scorpion.

~TCL~

They say that nothing was impossible. Most ponies took it as purely a metaphor. It was a comforting phrase, that helped push those beyond their mental boundaries to try harder. To push, excel and win.

At that very moment, Shining was very sure that whoever said that line, that he’d want to meet that stallion or mare, give them the biggest hug in the world and buy them a full course meal.

Because he was sure they were speaking the literal truth, as he gazed at the impossible.

It was bug like, stood on two feet, didn’t know what a comic book was and was blonde.

The impossible named Naruto.

Said bug-person was currently situated, sitting, on top of the large scorpoleon.

Correction, the large corpse, of the scorpoleon. Which now lay in a large perfectly spherical crater in the mountain.

Some scant few trails of greenish teal blood ran down his face, his hair matted by it. His borrowed clothes of white long sleeve and blue sweats bearing wear and tear all over, his pants barely counted as shorts at this point. His right sleeve was currently missing, self-torn to wipe some of the blood off, and he was staring down at them with an accomplished grin.

“So when do we get this ‘Canterlot’ place? Also Bright I might need my clothes back, if this is going to keep happening! Mine are WAY more durable,” he said casually, as if talking about the weather.

Most fell to their knees, while others fainted. Lumen was currently foaming at the mouth, last he checked.

Shining?

He was laughing like he’d just won the lottery.

________________________________________________________________________

When Night Light opened his front door that day, he’d had his wife and daughter present. Twilight, currently nine, had even gotten Spike from Celestia’s care to greet her brother when he returned today, the adopted little drake was currently situated next to his sister clamoring on about how Shining would show up with something really cool. Like a scar, or some mega-weapon. A tale of some battle that would be told for years to come.

In the future, Night Light would commend Spike on his four year old, ability of precognition, during his son’s wedding.

Opening his door, he was greeted by the sight of not only his grinning son, but also the nervously smiling form of a bug-person next to him. The bug person was currently bearing a pair of medals around his neck, in the form of the Royal Guard military.

“Mom, Dad, Twily, Spike. I’d like you to meet my friend Naruto.” He waved over to the blonde in the patched up orange and black tracksuit, who waved nervously.

“Uh...Hi?” From outside, Twilight Velvet could see multiple ponies staring at the back of the blonde in question. Some gaping, while others stare in utter wonder.

Twilight simply stared at her brother’s friend, before tilting her head cutely.

“What insect family do you come from?” she wondered out loud.

“Giant bug!” Spike grinned like the little boy he was.

Shining scratched the back of his head, as his father let them in. Along the way, Twilight and Spike kept looking at the bug-teen, all the while asking questions.

Velvet and Night Light looked to their son in slight confusion.

“Um, Shining, son, what’s going on?” Shining’s father said, as he watched his adopted dragon son, hang from the tail of the stranger, while Twilight turned his arm over and over while looking at it in wonder. Shining scratched the back of his head.

“Right, crazy story about that. Um...Do we still have the guest room? Also when is the next time Cadence plans on coming over? I wonder if my old room would still work?”

“Shining…” Twilight Velvet called out, as Shining stopped. Twilight and Spike simply continued their childish ministrations as the blonde bug looked on.

“Oh right. Mom, dad, you mind if Naruto crashes here for a little bit?” he asked sheepishly.

The blonde in question, just blinked.

~TCL~

That’s a wrap people! At least for this chapter.

15k+ words...What a hell of a comeback chapter, and in this new story to boot!

That said, this is just to set up Naruto’s relation with Shining’s corp, Shining and his place of stay. Temporarily, he has to get his own place eventually, but he will be basically what is family sometime down the line.

That said, we’ll get to see Naruto x Derpy goodness next chapter. Worry not, for this IS a Naruto x Derpy story.

I just have an unusually bit compulsion for well thought out beginnings!

So with that said, I hope you guys enjoy this one, we’re in for a hopefully short story of maybe 4 chapters. Will they all be this length? God I hope not. Because after this story, I plan on starting what will be my first truly LONG multi chaptered fanfic.

It was one of the prompt titles from my Naruto/MLP story, Apple Thief of Everfree. Shameless plug is shameless.

“Opieto” - An Obito Uchiha MLP/Naruto fic. The pairing will be a harem with the pie sisters, so look to that in the future, you lovely ducklings.

If that’s all, I’m gonna go rest now. This was finished on May 21, 2016. One day after my birthday!

So cheers!

~NRK Out~

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